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The union government has issued guidelines for PM-Cares for children scheme, which will provide comprehensive support for children who have lost their parents due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The scheme will provide monthly stipend from age of 18 years and 10 lakh on attaining 23 years of age.

The eligible children must enroll from 29.05.2021 which is the date of announcement by the Prime Minister to 31.12.2021 to avail benefits of PM-CARES for Children Scheme. The scheme is expected to continue till the year when every identified beneficiary will turn 23 years of age.

Eligibility criteria

The eligibility criterion for the scheme will cover all children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian/adoptive parents/single adoptive parent due to Covid-19 pandemic, starting from 11 March, 2020 the date on which WHO has declared and characterized Covid-19 as pandemic till December 2021, will be entitled to benefits under this scheme.

Further, the child should not have completed 18 years of age on the date of death of parents.

The entitlements under the scheme include:

Support for Boarding and Lodging:

- Efforts will be made by the district magistrate with the assistance of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) to explore the possibility of rehabilitating the child within her/his extended family or relatives

- If the extended family or relatives of the child are not available/not willing/not found fit by CWC or the child (aged 4 -10 years or above) is not willing to live with them, the child should be placed in foster care, after due diligence as prescribed under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and rules made thereof as amended from time to time.

- If the Foster family is not available/not willing /not found fit by CWC, or the child (aged 4 -10 years or above) is not willing to live with them, the child 1Beneficiary/ Beneficiaries means eligible child beneficiaries under the PM CARES for Children scheme. 

- Children more than 10 years old, not received by extended families or relatives or foster families or not willing to live with them or living in child care institutions after the demise of parents, may be enrolled in Netaji Subhash Chand Bose Awasiya Vidyalaya, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, Eklavya Model Schools, Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya, or any other residential school by the District Magistrate, subject to the respective scheme guidelines.

- It may be ensured that the siblings stay together, as far as possible.

- For non-institutional care, financial support at the prevailing rates prescribed under the Child Protection Services (CPS) Scheme shall be provided to Children (in account with guardian). For child in institutional care, a maintenance grant at the prevailing rates prescribed under the Child Protection Services (CPS) Scheme shall be given to Child Care Institutions. Any provision for subsistence support under the State scheme may also be provided additionally to the children.

Assistance for Pre-school and School Education

For children below 6 years of age, identified beneficiaries will receive support and assistance from the Anganwadi services for supplementary nutrition, pre-school education/ ECCE, immunization, health referrals, and health check-up.

For children below 10 years of age

- Admission shall be provided in any nearest school as a day scholar i.e. government or government-aided school or private schools

- In Government Schools, two sets of free uniform and textbooks shall be provided, under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, as per the scheme guidelines.

- In private schools, tuition fees shall be exempted under section 12(1)(c) of RTE Act.

- Under circumstances where child is unable to receive above benefits, the fees, as per the RTE norms, will be given from the PM CARES for Children scheme.

The scheme will also pay for expenditure on uniform, textbooks, and notebooks.

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